Name: Miah Hoppens
Affiliated Fund: Keith County Foundation Fund
School: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
What do you now realize about your hometown community that you didn’t realize before?
Ogallala, like every small community, has its challenges. Before leaving for college, I had kind of given up on it and felt that all the same problems would still be there by the time I got my degree. Throughout the summer, however, I have been privileged to work alongside difference makers in the community and can now optimistically say that Ogallala is on a fast track to overcoming the challenges it faces and becoming an even better place to raise a family.
Why did you want to take this opportunity to participate in this internship?
Three things: entrepreneurship, coming home, and making money. I knew that I needed to come home for the summer, but I also needed a way to make money (preferably not at a coffee shop on the weekends, again). The internship provided a way for me to be creative, give back to my community, and also make a decent salary.
How would you describe the experience so far?
Immersive, eye-opening, uplifting . . . I’ve been very privileged.
What do you appreciate most about your community?
I appreciate the extensive network of people who don’t complain about problems, but take the initiative and solve them in addition to the fact that everybody just wants to see you succeed, too.
What excites you the most when you think about the future of your community?
I am very excited about the future economic development of this community, as well as the opportunities for growth our housing and early childhood education initiatives will provide for new young people looking to come to the area.
What are you looking for in a place to call home?
I am looking for safety, security, and a community that smiles and waves back at me. Additionally, I want to have a place within my community as a difference maker. I want my community to be my family-outside-of-family.